One of my favorite pastimes is watching movies. I am so lucky to be born in the era of high quality color movies. Painting, music, literature, drama, movies, and sculpture all belong to the fine art category. We call them art because we do not understand them fully and we cannot teach them to a computer. For more info, please refer Donald Knuth’s “Computer Programming as an Art” paper. On the other hand, we call some topics as science because we can teach them to a computer. The day a computer can understand (mathematically) painting, music, literature, drama, movies, and sculpture, I believe we can call them science.
I am a movie addict. I love movies because the movie category is kind of superset of literature, drama, and music. It is a combination of many things. Movie takes us to a different world and teaches us so many things in life that no school / college / university can ever teach us. I learned a lot of lifing from movies. I learned a lot about loving from movies. I simply cannot live without movies.
One movie, one book, one teacher, one person, or one quote can change everything. Some movies affect us so much that after watching the movie we start living as completely different people. I would like to remember and thank those movies that have affected my life in a drastic way. Sometimes I wish that I should get lost in the virtual world of movies similar to matrix (where the hero gets lots in the virtual world of a game).
I would be wrong if I use the term “best movies”. People / media / websites / critics always use the phrases such as best movie, best director etc which I believe are illogical. The term “best” is a highly relative term. One person’s best movie might be another person’s worst movie. It has happened to me many times that the movies I thought best were hated by many and the movies that many thought best were total shit for me. Also, that a movie a person chooses as best has a lot to do with personal experience and knowledge as well. Hence, in this post I will use the phrase “favorite movies” which I believe is very logical than the illogical “best movies” phrase used frequently.
There are millions of movies. But I have watched only an infinitesimally small percentage of them. I have watched lots of movies from various languages such as Kannada, Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Marathi, Korean, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Italian, French, etc. I am fluent in Kannada (my native language) and English. I can understand Hindi well but I cannot speak. For many languages I had to watch movies with English subtitles. By watching movies of different languages and countries, we get to learn different cultures and thinking of the people. I am proud to be born in Karnataka state of India because from my experience most native Karnataka people (at least I have met and I have known) are extremely broad-minded in language acceptance and probably have the least fanaticism towards their native language Kannada. Because of this rare great quality of broad mindedness among the people of Karnataka for language acceptance, I was able to watch movies of tens of languages.
Apart from my favorite movies list presented here I also like thousands of other movies. But due to space-time constraints I will keep the list as short as possible. I also like to organize the movie list as per genre because some people like movies of certain genres only. I like movies of all genres.
What conditions a movie has to satisfy to be in my favorite movies list? Very simple. It has to be extremely haunting to me. Haunting in the sense that I must spend weeks or maybe months of time thinking deeply on the movie. The movies listed in this blog post have had such a huge impact on me. Here follows my favorite movie list. Due to time constraints, I will briefly explain only the romantic movies and simply mention movies of other genres. I will try to update the list as and when possible.
Titanic is a love story set on a sinking ship. Titanic is my favoritestestest movie of all space-time. No other movie I have watched has had such a titanic impact on me. If I am tired and I watch Titanic, I get rejuvenated. If I have a headache and I watch Titanic, my headache will be gone. If I feel lonely and I watch Titanic, my mind will flood with the feeling of love and I start searching for my Rose to die for :) Probably even if I chant the word “Titanic” I think I get peace of mind. I can go on and on. Such is the impact of Titanic on me.
The first time I had watched Titanic I was in high school I believe. For me the movie is much more than a story. I know that Jack and Rose are simply characters enacted by great actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, respectively. But, I love to believe and I believe that Jack and Rose really exist. I love to believe that their entire love story is real and has happened in real life. I don’t know why. But, I get enormous energy in having faith in Jack and Rose.
Schools do not teach about life. Schools do not teach about love. Schools do not teach about death. The one who taught me all these three powerful concepts of life, love, and death is Titanic. This makes James Cameron and Titanic my philosophy teachers. Story, screenplay, direction, cinematography, acting, and all technical and artistic aspects of the film is critically acclaimed. Paradoxically speaking, I am glad that the real ship Titanic sank because of it the movie was made. I am so happy that I lived during the era of the Titanic movie.
A newlywed girl, Raani, does not get love from her husband. Every night the husband locks his home leaving Raani alone and sleeps with a prostitute with whom he has an affair. Every morning when the husband comes home, Raani tries to get his husband’s love by giving him milk added with various herbs to seduce him to make love, but in vain. One day, when the milk added with powerful herbs catches fire, she dumps it beside her home. The milk flows to a nearby anthill where a snake lives and the snake falls in love with Raani. The snake enters her home, takes the form of Raani’s husband, and makes love to Raani and this continues every night. What happens next forms the climax of the story. Haunting story by Girish Karnad, excellent direction by T. S. Nagabharana, great music by C. Ashwath, and superb acting by heroine Vijayalakshmi are the highlights of the movie.
The Blue Lagoon
A sailing ship catches fire. Two children: a boy and a girl, and an old crew person escape using a life boat. After severe storms they somehow survive and get stranded on an island. Within a few days, the old person dies. The boy and the girl build a home, catch fish, eat, and sleep together. They grow up on the island and reach puberty. They start to develop emotional feelings as their physical bodies develop. With no one to guide them or teach them they learn to love and make love. This movie made a deep impact on me through its revolutionary concept of natural love.
Hotarubi no Mori e (Japanese)
A six year old girl named Hotaru gets lost in a forest near her grandfather’s home. A masked young man named Gin finds the girl. He tells her that if she touches him he will disappear. And he safely drops her back to her village. Since then every summer, Hotaru visits the forest and meets Gin. Hotaru develops into a beautiful teen girl but Gin never ages and remains a youth. Acquaintance turns to friendship and friendship turns to love but they cannot touch each other and if in case they touch each other Gin disappears. The simple but heart wrenching love story told in animation can melt the heart of any tough person. The voice-over for the heroine character is so lovely. Watch the movie. Fall in love.
My Sassy Girl (Korean)
A drunk girl gets into a train. She vomits on the head of a passenger and faints. The passenger shames a boy nearby to take care of his girlfriend. The boy unwillingly takes responsibility of taking her to a safe place and they spend night at a hotel. She drinks again and again and the process repeats. The boy slowly develops feelings for the girl and takes responsibility of protecting her and taking care of her. He tolerates her abuses, beatings, shoutings, etc. Later he gets to know the reason for her drinking. The girl was in love with a boy and her lover died. The boy tries to make her forget her past but the girl thinks that forgetting the past is like cheating the boy she previously loved. Wonderful story told in a beautiful way. Superb story, direction, and acting by the lead actors. I fell in love with the heroine character. This movie is certainly one of the greatest love stories ever told.
Gunaa is a mentally challenged man who imagines that an angel named Abhirami will marry him. A few thieves take Gunaa with them to help loot money from a temple. There Gunaa sees a super rich beautiful girl and totally believes that she is Abhirami. Gunaa kidnaps her and takes her in a car to a small damaged house located on a mountain-top in a forest. He puts a chain around her to make sure that she does not escape. The movie story by Sab John, direction by Santhana Bharathi, music by Ilaiyaraaja, and acting by protagonist Kamal Haasan are laudable.
The movie is a love story between a happy go girl named Haasini and a boy named Siddharth often called Siddhu. Siddhu’s actions and decision making is severely controlled by his father. He decides that at least the girl he marries will be chosen by him. He meets Haasini, who is child-like, innocent, always happy, and cracks jokes all the time. Siddhu falls for her lovely character. He makes up his mind and conveys to his family that he is in love with Haasini. He brings Haasini to his home so that his family members can get to know Haasini. The entire movie stands on Haasini’s character enacted excellently by Genelia D’Souza.
The movie is about a psychological love story between a director Upendra and heroine Chaandani. The story is the dilemma of choosing between life (career) and love. Heroine Chaandani falls in love with director Upendra. He does not care for love but cares more for his career and life. Chaandani makes many unsuccessful attempts of convincing Upendra about her love. Finally when Upendra falls in love with Chaandani, she would have changed her mind and she would be focusing on career and life and she does not care for love. Amidst a lot of tensions and confusions, Upendra loves Chaandani like hell to get her back. Extraordinary direction by Upendra, great story, superb editing, and nice performance makes this movie an evergreen romantic story.
Sekai no Chuushin de, Ai o Sakebu (Japanese)
I watched the remake of this movie titled “My Girl and I (Korean)”. The movie is about a simple love story between a college boy and a girl. Slowly they fall in love with each other. Both do crazy things like many youngsters. Later they get to know that the girl has a leukemia. Though I have watched the remake I would recommend the original movie.
Life is Beautiful
Ondu Mutthina Kathe (Kannada)
Munna Bhai MBBS (Hindi)
Passion of the Christ
Beladingala Baale (Kannada)
The Man From Earth
The Truman Show
12 Angry Men
Dus Kahaniyan (Hindi)
Peepli [Live] (Hindi)
Gods Must Be Crazy
Andaz Apna Apna (Hindi)
Ashta Chamma (Telugu)
Phas Gaya Re Obama (Hindi)
Drag Me to Hell
Friday the 13th
The Skeleton Key
The Last House On The Left
The Blair Witch Project
The Infinite Man
The Butterfly Effect
A Serbian Film
Suspense / Thriller Movies
Mad Max: Fury Road
Kung Fu Panda
How to Train Your Dragon
A Bug’s Life
When Marnie Was There
The Secret World of Arrietty
Sex and Consequences
Game of Thrones
The Jungle Book (Hindi)
How I Met Your Mother
Big Bang Theory
Vikram aur Betaal (Hindi)